A Star to Steer Her By by Beth Anne Miller

Posted March 29, 2017 by Kate in loved it, Review / 0 Comments

A Star to Steer Her By by Beth Anne MillerA Star to Steer Her By by Beth Anne Miller
Format: eARC
Published by Entangled Source: Netgalley
Genres: College, Coming of Age, Contemporary Romance, Friendship, New Adult, Romance
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I’m scarred. Broken. I’ll never be the same.
But I will take this journey.

Ever since my last dive ended in bloodshed, I’ve been terrified to go back into the water. But the opportunity to spend a semester at sea is too good to pass up. I need to get my life back.

I never expected to love it this much. And I never expected Tristan MacDougall.

Rugged, strong, and with demons of his own, Tristan helps me find the courage I thought I had lost and heals me with every stolen moment we share. But the rules of the ship mean we can't be together.

When a dive excursion goes terribly wrong, our only hope for survival is each other.

I kind of wish there were more books coming out about the ocean, I mean sure there are books that take place in a tropical setting, and that’s nice and everything, but in the book the ocean is basically a character on its own, and I loved it. I spent a significant amount of time when I was growing up on an island, and my parents favorite form of family vacations was cruise ships, so it was really easy for me to fall in love with this book. And I have to say I’m pretty jealous of Ari and the experience she got to have. I’m not really one for sailing, probably because it’s not something I’ve ever done and lingo goes over my head, but the author did a great job explaining things but not making it overwhelming.

Ari is going on this semester at sea experience, and she has been wanting to back out of it for some time, clearly when the book starts there is some sort of traumatic event that she is trying to get past, including what seems like a pretty substantial injury to her leg. It was so easy to like Ari right from the beginning, normally it takes me a minute to get to know a character and decide if I like them or love them, or whatever, but with Ari it was immediate. She’s complex and interesting, and sad but strong, she’s so easy to love and kind of identify with that you can’t help but just jump into this book with both feet. She has so much to overcome in this book, and when I think most people who just back away and give up, she just pushes herself further.

Tristan is our hero, and he’s a Scot, I know that’s a thing most people seem to really like these days, but in books it doesn’t do much for me because reading the dialect sometimes gets tiresome for me. This was not a problem for me in this book. The book is purely from Ari’s POV so you don’t get to know Tristan the same way as you do Ari, but he’s a pretty good character. He seems sad when we meet him, but he covers it well. He’s talented and driven, and kind, really kind. He’s just a good guy. There are a lot of moments in this book where he is a great support to Ari, he’s not overbearing or pushy, he’s the kind of guy who wants to stand next to a woman not in front of her.

As I said earlier the ocean really is a character in this book, and there are so many excellent scenes in here. There is this great scene with humpback whales, a lot of awesome dive excursions, sailing through a storm, and a scene that literally made me text my husband that I hate people sometimes. I liked how the author really intertwined the ocean and its creatures into the fabric of the book, you get to learn about illegal spearfishing, how trash can literally kill amazing creatures, shark finning (a horrible thing btw, enter the text to hubby), but it didn’t feel preachy, it felt organic, and it was awesome.

The chemistry with Ari and Tristan is fantastics, it has great slow build to it, one that really keeps your attention. The slow build really lets you get to know the characters on their own, and when the passion finally does ignite in the book, its for the right reasons, not just because, it was truly an organic advancement of the relationship. There are great secondary characters in this book, it explores friendship just as much as it does relationship. I really enjoyed this book, and I really loved the writing style, I can’t wait to read more by this author in the future.

About Beth Anne Miller

My first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. I soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led me to a college semester aboard a schooner. I returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug I couldn’t quite shake.

In addition to horses and the sea, I have a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which I explored with my first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into my new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, March 2017). A native New Yorker, I work in the publishing industry and am always looking ahead to my next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship.

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